Each January agricultural industry leaders gather at the New York State Agricultural Society Annual Meeting & Forum to discuss priority issues and recognize peers for outstanding leadership, innovation, stewardship, consumer outreach and safety efforts.
At this year’s historic 189th annual forum conducted virtually on Thursday, Jan. 7, three Eastern New York farms were recognized as 2021 Bicentennial Farm honorees. And one of these farms, which has been in continuous operation by the same family on the same property for more than 200 years was Warwick’s Bellvale Farms.
It begins with William Wisner
The history of Bellvale Farms dates back to 1819 when William Wisner purchased the original land.
In the nineteenth century the Wisner and Buckbee families were joined through marriage.
Today the farm, now expanded to 450 acres, is owned and operated by Al and Judy Buckbee and their son Skip, who runs the day to day operations. Their daughter Amy and her husband Tim Noteboom, have owned and operated Bellvale Farms Creamery, named second in top 10 USA ice cream shops, by TripAdvisor, since 2003. They have two children, Jasmine and Will.
Host of awards
Bellvale Farms was the first farm in Orange County to receive the Dairy of Distinction Award in 1986. The operation has also received the Progressive Breeders Award from the Holstein Association of America.
And in 2011 the farm was presented with the Sustainable Agriculture Award from Orange Environment
Bellvale Farms also participates in a rigorous program of water and soil conservation and is a “Super Milk” Program Award Recipient, which recognizes those dairy farmers who go above and beyond the high quality standards maintained in New York herds
In 1998, the Buckbees sold the development rights of 330 acres of their farm through the New York State Purchase of Development Rights Program (PDR) in concert with the Town of Warwick to help preserve open space.
And in 2011, the Historical Society of the Town of Warwick closed on its purchase of the original Albert Wisner Memorial Library building at 2 Colonial Ave. That purchase from the Warwick Valley School District, along with closing costs and maintenance, was made possible with $350,000 from Albert Wisner Buckbee II, his wife Judy and their family.
Going forward, the Buckbees plan to carry on the centuries old family tradition of dairy farming on their picturesque farm.